Smoke screen (September 13, 2016)

Regarding Rob Turner and Bob Tinsley Fire Tax responses on 9-12-16 and 9-13-16, it was disappointing a local former educator, and a Fire Board Member failed to comprehend my letter comparing the special fire tax to fees for service. My out of the box thinking was simple enough for anyone to understand while the Fire District information left people confused, like they are attempting in their letters.

Using an example of a minimal fee I offered a complete financial calculation, but the same cannot be said for them. I remain skeptical why a Fire District objects to a service fee that generates more revenue than a special tax? It was a — win-win, if you will — a financial benefit to both the Fire District (more than double the special tax revenue), and the tax paying public (insurance coverage of service fees already paid through their premiums). Make no mistake, a fire tax goes to general fund = used any way they choose, while fee for service goes to service fee fund = used only to continue ongoing services and preventing future closures.

Their statements were disingenuous, sounding more like used car salesmen. Suggesting the sample fee would not cover all the service call cost, but a tax generating less revenue would? Claiming the tax is only $59.88 additional, yes, in addition to the existing tax. So why not say the full amount $126 on a $170,000 assessed value home, increasing 2% each year?

If fire service goes county it would happen because the Fire District only regurgitated the old tried and failed special tax plan. Why waste money repeating failure.

The Town analogy showed they exercised discretionary spending on a myriad of other things, discretionary being the operative word, while ignoring the two closed fire stations for six years and in 2013 adopted a plan filed with the state, planning a new fire station in the north end of town. Why, to have it close like the others?

If elected representatives cannot be honest and put PUBLIC SAFETY FIRST AND FOREMOST they fail to find meaningful solutions to real issues. When they focus only on self interest photo ops, dancing in the parks, singing the praises of their special interest benefactors and more tax on the public, they are saying, let them eat cake while the taxpayers starve - or more appropriately - play a round of golf, hike to the vandalized hilltop house, or flood your lawns with water while your home/car burns, grandpa has a coronary and your child bleeds in the street.

— Leane Lee, Apple Valley